Last updated on July 25th, 2023 at 01:45 pm
Finding out you are having twins can be very exciting, but it can also be scary, overwhelming, and stressful. Here is some advice from a MoM who has been through it, and wishes she had been more prepared for her twins’ arrival. She shares her top 10 things she wishes someone would have told her before she had twins.
1. One plus one does not equal two.
When we found out at 20 weeks that we were expecting not only our 2nd child, but our 3rd as well, my husband’s first reaction was “Crap! We’ll need a bigger car!” While there are some essential “twin” purchases, (i.e. two car seats) many times you’ll be able to get by on less (i.e. clothes). On the other hand, multiples can be more than twice as much work (at least at first), and definitely more than twice the fun.
2. Having multiples means learning multiplication.
Double the time it takes you to run errands by each kid taken. Then double that time again to account for all the comments that will come your way. Going anywhere with multiples is like traveling to the moon. Everything takes ten times the preparation, and you’re still walking in slow motion once you get there.
3. Learn the art of “smile and nod.”
Not only will you get to hear about everybody’s second cousin’s neighbor’s sister’s multiples, but complete strangers will also be convinced that they are owners of some hitherto unknown piece of trivia about multiples. Many will assume they know more about your children than you and take it upon themselves to correct you. Learn to smile and nod. You really don’t have the energy to waste fighting with people you will see rarely (if ever) again.
4. Be prepared for anything.
I’m a voracious reader and an even bigger worrier. In a vain attempt to maintain “control”, I research to prepare myself for every possible devastating event. When I began to learn about multiple pregnancies, all I saw was everything that could go wrong. I thought my babies were guaranteed to come early. Then, during my 3rd trimester, a friend enlightened me about the power of positive thinking. Events going smoothly are just as possible (theoretically) as everything going wrong. Having multiples is amazing and can prepare you to deal with the unexpected, good or difficult. Anything becomes possible.
5. Know your limits
You will not be able to do everything yourself. I thought “I’ve done this before, how bad can two at once be?” Just because we have two hands, doesn’t mean we’re equipped to handle two babies at the same time by ourselves. It’s ok to try…for a while. We all need to try our wings and see everything that we’re capable of. Yet, eventually, your wings will get tired and you’ll need to ask for help. That’s a good thing!
6. Romance will come again
You have a couple of (cute) little leaches hanging off you, needing you for their very survival. It’s perfectly normal to want some personal space. Give yourself time, but remember to hold a space open to enjoy the company of your significant other. Once you recover from sleep deprivation, you may realize that person will be the only one who truly understands both you and your kids.
7. It’s OK to be depressed for a while.
After my twins arrived, I found myself both sliding into depression and piling guilt on myself significantly more than I had with my singleton. I expected that same instantaneous bonding. Yet, in any other situation, falling in love with two people simultaneously is ludicrous. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than words can express, but life is different than I expected. It’s ok to mourn that loss.
8. Do it your way!
Between the internet and well-meaning advisors, you can come up with thousands of different methods to raise children. While there is something to glean from most, remember these are your kids and this is your family. You know them better than anyone else does. Take all that advice, make sure everybody is safe and (relatively) sane, and then mash it into something that works for your family. Throw out the rest. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t…Cloth diapers are doable. Vaginal delivery is doable. Breastfeeding is doable…If it’s right for you.
9. Your life is about to be hijacked.
EVERYTHING will change. Survival equals success. Forget all expectations. Try to relax. Enough said.
10. You can do this!
Nobody can do this better than you. The only way you’re going to get through this is to get out there and just do it!
Kristen Lehman lives out in Spokane, Wa with her husband and kiddos. She is an instructor at a local university while her hubby is working towards his MBA (good luck!). She and her family live in the home where the past four generations have resided. Kristen found Twiniversity while on partial bed rest, trying to discover all she could about the new adventure they were about to embark upon. Her twins are now a year and she continues to value the group and the resources we provide, both for my twins as well as for dealing with their older singleton sister.